Fashion Conversational Week 1516: Minding these A’s and Q’s


I do know, I promised I wouldn’t be right here at this time with the Convo, since — as I do each Thanksgiving week — I used to be publishing this week’s Fashion Invitational, Week 1516, on Wednesday, a day early. However I wished to present our newer members of the Loser Neighborhood a greater concept of how we do the Questionable Journalism contest, one the Invite has been presenting often since Week 254 in 1998, however not since Week 1433, a yr and a half in the past.

And I wished to share some attention-grabbing non-inking entries from Week 1512, whose outcomes run at this time — particularly among the many 26-word/26-starting-letter passages regarding The Fashion Invitational and its imperious little showrunner.

Q-shticks*: This week’s contest

*Headline by Kevin Dopart from the outcomes of Week 1324 in 2019

Our recurring Questionable Journalism contest is like our much more persistent Ask Backwards in that the “reply” goes first, adopted by your “query”; my predecessor, the Czar, first used the title “Double Jeopardy.” Within the early, pre-Web days, you needed to restrict your search to that day’s (Sunday) Washington Submit, which presumably you had in your palms, and which, within the super-flush-for-newspapers late Nineteen Nineties, was the dimensions of a hippopotamus, because of all that advert income we simply don’t have anymore.

Nowadays you get to make use of any dated publication, print or on-line, and the date will be from at this time, Nov. 23, all the way in which to the competition deadline, Dec. 5. No, Invite Obsessives, you don’t want to look at each web page in each paper of the subsequent 12 days — sure, some Losers have complained about this “requirement.” An enterprising Loser may discover 20 QJ-useful sentences in at this time’s Washington Submit. Nevertheless it’s additionally purpose to choose up a replica of your native print paper, in case your city nonetheless has one; nobody else shall be utilizing your sentence!

The examples the Czar provided have been from that day’s Ann Landers column (along with his personal questions, duh):

Reply: “She is now in jail, charged with aggravated battery and home battery.” Query: What occurred to the girl who mugged the Energizer Bunny?

Reply: “A handkerchief edged in lace, resembling girls’s panties, to place in a person’s breast pocket.” Query: What can be a foul birthday current to get President Clinton?

My query: What the heck was that second Ann Landers quote about?! (My query answered.)

And that truly brings up a helpful tip: It’s higher to make use of a sentence whose actual context is evident — that manner, the reader will get instantly the way you’re turning the which means round. To me, the “battery” instance is the funnier one. I may clarify the context after the sentence (and sometimes do) however on the threat of spoiling the humor.

What do I imply once I say you should use “the most important a part of a sentence” slightly than the entire thing? As I famous in a earlier Conversational: “You may drop just a few nonessential phrases from the sentence, for instance ‘Smith mentioned,’ and you should use two brief sentences. However strive to not use very lengthy sentences, since your entry could be the one most simply trimmed for area. Additionally, not deleting these additional phrases is one option to present some cleverness.” (Boldface mine this time, as a result of these lengthy sentences do get lower first.)

Don’t, then again, lower the sentence so its which means is already modified from the unique; don’t change “The trainer handed out the exams” to “The trainer handed out.”

Q. The place can I discover actually lots of and lots of of inking Questionable Journalism entries from through the years, with none paywall?

Glad you requested! You want solely try the Losers’ personal New ’n’ Improved Grasp Contest Checklist, created by Elden Carnahan and lately up to date by Gary Crockett at Click on on the drop-down menu on the prime and choose “Questions”; then click on on the hyperlinks (outcomes are in the correct column) to the Questionable Journalisms and others that match the outline. They’re textual content recordsdata, however way more readable now.

How about if I simply wish to see, oh, 5 consultant entries?

2017, runner-up: A. We can not acknowledge each submission. Q. Hey, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, why don’t you tally how usually legislators kowtow to the president? (Mark Raffman)

2016: A. Let me be trustworthy right here. Q. What does a politician say earlier than mendacity? (Jon Gearhart)

2015: A. “Up to now I’d laboriously pare off the onerous pores and skin with a vegetable peeler (troublesome on a curved floor) or slice it off with an enormous knife.” Q. What did Julia Youngster say as a testimonial for Oil of Olay? (Frank Osen)

2010: A. “Whether or not I win or lose, I’ve received to have a look at myself within the mirror the subsequent day, and a phrase that’s vital to me is integrity.” Q. Why on earth did you get “integrity” tattooed backward in your brow? (Russell Beland)

2007: A. That is the place that made me who I’m. Q. What’s so particular concerning the again seat of your mother and father’ SUV? (Jay Shuck)

A word concerning the formatting: I received’t be shuffling the entries this week, so that you don’t should do something particular. See the word on this week’s entry type. I haven’t had time to run exams with our new entry type on whether or not you can begin embedding hyperlinks proper into your entries. So for now, simply embody the URLs to your on-line sentences after every sentence, and even on the backside of the group of entries.

AlpHAbet soup*: The outcomes of Week 1512

*Non-inking headline by Chris Doyle

Very similar to our latest Scrabblegrams contest — wherein you needed to rearrange all 100 Scrabble tiles into some entertaining little bit of writing — our Week 1512 contest was what I name a “stunt”: You needed to write 26 phrases, all of which started with completely different letters. It was recommended by Loser Al Lubran after he noticed the outcomes of an identical contest in Marilyn vos Savant’s column in Parade (which simply ran its closing print version); these outcomes weren’t precisely thrilling, however I used to be certain the Losers may do manner higher.

They usually definitely did. This week’s 25 inking entries, 22 of them in print, didn’t simply fulfill the parameters of the competition: They informed jokes. They have been enjoyable to learn. Their phrases made sense in context. And, as I’d predicted, some Loserbards managed to work these phrases into verse, even into one thing as fixed-form as a limerick (Coleman Glenn, actually, despatched in a complete web page of them).

Winner But Once more Chris Doyle parlayed realizing the identify of the Washington Nationwide Zoo’s latest panda, Xiao Qi Ji, into essentially the most natural use of X-, Q- and J-words, with an area angle in addition. Jonathan Jensen match “xylophone” completely sensibly right into a hilarious rant by an orchestra conductor — he absolutely has heard many from his seat among the many bassists within the Baltimore Symphony. Leif Picoult equipped a humorous, relatable punchline to the outline of a horror film, and Karen Lambert provided my favourite amongst a number of good A-to-Z entries along with her story of the “boastful cad.”

Karen additionally received ink, together with Jesse Frankovich, with an “and final” entry about The Fashion Invitational. There have been a lot of different amazingly good ones as effectively, nevertheless it appeared mistaken to replenish the entire column with inside stuff … once I can put them proper right here. I’ll begin with theirs, which I do know to be legitimate (26 phrases beginning with completely different letters or with an “eX” for the X); the others I didn’t verify, however who cares?

And Final: God is aware of common quipping’s not very difficult, however making you employ eXactly twenty-six phrases, every one having a distinct first letter, is simply plain zany. (Jesse Frankovich)

And Even Laster: Earlier than coming into the Invitational, all the time first query your self truthfully: Does my joke responsibly eXhibit knowledge, underscore authentic data or zealously promote advantage? No? Nice — click on submit! (Karen Lambert)

[If I’d run three of these, this would have been the third: ] The Fashion Invitational: Quirky contest! Decide: Empress with absolute energy. No opinion issues eXcept hers! Bribes? Ineffective! Actually likes zingers; (doesn’t go for yucky, kinky movies …). (Beverley Sharp)

[Another good A-to-Z]: After banishing Czar, dastardly Empress foments gauche humorists, inanely joking, kibitzing, laughing, making new obscene puns, quirkily rambunctious, salacious, tasteless, uncouth, very bizarre, xenophilic yuk-zingers. (Marty Gold)

Quintessential proof of fanatical Invite zealotry? Spending hours not gainfully working, however designing prose utilizing twenty-six letters, realizing an eXtremely juvenile, worthless magnet constitutes your reward. (Additionally by Karen Lambert)

Alphabet-related contests imply zero ink for practically all people, you already know. EXpect one veteran Loser (Duncan? Jesse?) to win. How? By shortly producing untold sidesplitting passages. (Chris Doyle, who made this entry unusable by profitable the competition!)

Any boob can devise entries for getting honorable ink. Simply know, losers: Many not solely show fairly raunchy; some tout unprintable vengeful wit. EXorcise Your Zeal! (Rob Cohen)

Empress: Write passages that repeat no beginning letters. Rapidly, zealously … verbiage simply “magically” kinds. Figuring out eXpansive choices and good utilization helps. Can or not it’s accomplished? Sure. (Louise Dodenhoff Hauser, who certainly received ink with one other entry)

Discovering Le Mot Juste begets obsession: anagrams, eXpletives, humorous quotes, neologisms, puns, zingers — even gobbledygook delights kooky ink slingers. Sadly, relishing wordplay can yield verbose tommyrot. (Kathy El-Assal)

, this zany quest our Empress gave us was proposed by Al Lubran — he simply found it from studying Marilyn vos Savant’s eXcellent newspaper column. (Jesse Frankovich, who has a real reward for making anagrams in addition to different stunt-writing like this sound completely pure)

Each week, I zealously click on one particular URL, kneeling, praying for leXical redemption, nay, veritable justice. Then, despair: lifelong objectives quashed by yet one more honorable point out. (Brian Cohen — effectively, we prevented THAT disappointment!)

Mail! Whoa Nelly, analyzing varied weird junk right here — kitsch! Farting zebras! Glowing eXcreta! Yellow garments! Questionable rarities! Suppose a Loser dumped Fashion Invitational prizes on us. (Duncan Stevens)

Invite hopefuls (undeniably zany), recovering from eXcruciating Scrabblegrams, knowingly determine on punishing themselves once more by wackily juxtaposing each letter. Certifiable? Sure. Grief? Very a lot. Give up? By no means! (Karen Lambert)

We Losers, to be eXtremely humorous, publish hilarious new Quips, make you Readers chuckle, and collect up zero-value kitschy Junk, Do enter our Fashion Invitational! (Jesse Frankovich, along with his personal odd capitalization)

This simply in — save the date!

The Losers’ Submit-Vacation Occasion shall be Saturday night, Jan. 28, in Metro-friendly Crystal Metropolis, Va. Extra on this subsequent week.

Comfortable Thanksgiving to all — and begin wanting over your previous yr’s entries for subsequent month’s do-over contests.

The next non-inking entries from Week 1512 go from mildly risque to very. If that form of factor doesn’t enchantment to you, please cease studying now.

No my ABCs*: The unprintables (*Non-inking subhead by Jon Gearhart)

This very intelligent one didn’t cross muster with the Style Police: An X-rated vacation feast: Our Jennie-O wasn’t dressed! Everybody in Charlotte’s kitchen shortly peeled! Friends nibbled breasts, thighs, legs — very yummy! Sadly, my zucchini remained untouched. (Jon Carter)

Actually within the custom of bawdy limericks, and expertly crafted: This outdated vibrator’s agency, not so bendable,/ Plus, not like jointed sorts, fairly extendible./ It’s had grueling abuse, / Welcomed zealous reuse: / You can not make use of lads extra reliable. (Byron Miller)

You see, being eXtra cautious throughout quarantine, when attending distant gatherings on Zoom, I naturally stored my lengthy erect penis hidden from view, not like Jeffrey Toobin. (The ever-modest Jesse Frankovich)

And an area one concerning the trouncing of far-right-winger Dan Cox within the latest election: Younger, city feminine voters fairly clearly killed Republicans’ zany nominee in Maryland’s gubernatorial election. Exasperated occasion bosses needed to acknowledge: Some girls simply don’t like Cox. (Jon Ketzner)

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